Interesting to read all the different opinions. I really like to use Kirby because I can predefine content models (blueprints) and access this data whenever I need it in a really simple way.
I’ve followed this thread for some time now and still haven’t read every single post. However, I think there are two problems, that should be solved in different ways in different ways although they are somehow related.
- Some of you want a more flexible editing interface to create more complex layouts.
- Some of you want a better preview of how your content looks before publishing.
(And some want both… )
Trying to solve both problem with a single solution like a full-featured frontend editor seems legit at first, but I’m convinced that this won’t work with Kirby given the many different use cases of this cms.
A (better) preview mode
Currently I’m working on a project for a company offering temporary industrial architecture solutions. I’d say it’s a medium-sized Kirby project; a project where we have to display different features, technical data etc. I try to use Kirby as a repository for content that is displayed in various ways on different pages. In some cases content is manipulated before it’s shown on the website. We are even considering to create a simple API to access the data in different applications. That is probably a small-scale example of what @bastianallgeier was talking about.
It’s impossible to replicate this process for a frontend editor to show a real live-preview of the website. The only true live preview is what you see on the website. Trying to reproduce the template output in an editor will always fail if you’re working on a general solution that should work on different themes. Some services like Medium have created great editing interfaces but these tools are limited to a single service and purpose.
Currently, if you’re a tech-savy person, you can use git to see a preview of your changes on a local machine or a staging server and then simply push the changes to the live server. However, this is probably not a solution for most Kirby-users especially when developing for clients from a totally different background. Furthermore, git is not supported by most shared-hosting providers.
I’m not sure how versioning/drafting in Kirby could look like, however, there have already been some ideas on this forum.
Providing a better editing interace
I think the best idea is to use some kind of syntax highlighting for markdown (using the visual markdown plugin by @DieserJonas) or a simple split view preview in order to get a simple visual representation of the longer text content, e. g. for the blueprint of a blog post. This way, you’re providing a better writing experience.
If you’re clients need to create more complex layouts themselves, I’d really recommend using the kirby builder plugin by @timoetting. I’ve been using subpages but this plugin makes it a lot easier and allows you to add basic styling to the items, e. g. you could add italics to a blockquote-module etc.
For me, this is a great combination to give my clients more advanced editing possibilities while maintaining a consistent design.